Torta Pasqualina is a savoury pie originally from Liguria region, mainly in and around the City of Genoa.
‘Pasqualina‘ can literally be translated with ‘eastery‘, this pie is indeed the perfect dish to celebrate Easter at the table since the eggs inside it simbolise rebirth. Tradition says that the dough was made of 33 very thin sheets, just like the years of Jesus.
The cheese in the original recipe for Torta Pasqualina is prescinsêua, a very light, sour milk curd which is practically unobtainable outside the province of Genoa and Liguria, thus for this reason is replaced by ricotta in the rest of Italy since is easier to get. The vegetable is exclusively chard or sometimes artichoke, flavoured with fresh marjoram and with the eggs placed raw in four small dimples in the filling which will become hard-boiled during cooking. We have made the most convenient version using ready-made puff pastry.
This pie is even more tasty when cold, that’s why it is also often enjoyed as a dish for picnics and trips out on Easter Monday.
Serves: 6-8, a 24 – 26 cm Springform pan| Preparation: 30 mins | Cooking: 40 to 60 mins
- Swiss chard: 1 kg
- Ready rolled puff pastry: 2 standard-sized rolls
- Creamy Italian Ricotta cheese: 350 g
- Parmigiano cheese, grated: 150 g
- Eggs: 4 + 1 yolk for the egg-wash and a drop of water
- Nutmeg: a pinch
- Butter, unsalted: to taste
- Marjoram, fresh or dried: a sprig or a tbsp
- Salt and Black Pepper, a pinch
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350 F / Gas 4.
Thoroughly rinse the Swiss chard, then boil them in water. Once soft and cooked through, drain and squeeze it very well the chard (be careful since it holds plenty of water), reduce it into small pieces and let it cool down.
Melt a knob of butter in a pan, sauteé Swiss chard 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and whilst it’s still warm add the Ricotta cheese, grated Parmigiano, a pinch of nutmeg, marjoram, salt and pepper to taste. Stir thoroughly.
Butter the inside of a high-sided baking tin or one lined with baking paper. Cover it with a roll of puff pastry, prick it with a fork so that it does not puff up during baking. Pour the ricotta and chard mixture into it.
With a spoon, create four dimples large enough to hold the egg, which you are going to break into each one gently.
Pierce the second sheet of puff pastry and cover with the mixture, brush with egg-wash, bake in a preheated static oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour.
Tip: To check whether your Torta Pasqualina is ready, prick it with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out dry and clean, then the filling is cooked through and your pie can be taken out of the oven. If instead the toothpick comes out wet, the filling is still too moist. Put it back in the oven.
Let it to cool down slightly before serving.